Megan Chao and Evan Pondel

Megan Chao is director of development and producer for Daniel H. Birman Productions, Inc., a documentary production company based in Los Angeles.  She is currently producing Chasing Speed: Leslie Porterfield (working title), a pilot for Discovery’s new speed network, Velocity.  The project follows Leslie Porterfield, the world’s fastest woman on a motorcycle, in her quest to break speed records.  Concurrently, Chao is producing A Year in the Making: The Tournament of Roses for KCET, an exclusive documentary about the year-long process of creating the Rose Parade, an international benchmark for New Year’s Day.  Prior, Chao was researcher and production coordinator for Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, a documentary feature that aired on PBS | Independent Lens, and Brace for Impact: The Chesley B. Sullenberger Story, a special produced for TLC and Discovery Channel.

Chao is also adjunct faculty USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.  She works with undergraduate and graduate students in long-form production, from story inception to development, through production and post-production, where segments are finalized for television broadcast on public access channels.  She is line producer for Annenberg’s award-winning newsmagazine show, Impact.

Chao has a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California, and dual bachelor’s degrees in biology and creative writing from the University of California at Riverside.

Evan Pondel is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has written for publications, including The Wall Street Journal –, The Christian Science Monitor,, Los Angeles Magazine, GlobalPost, among others.
He made his directorial debut with the film, “Leather Jude,” a short documentary about Holocaust survivor Hans Biglajzer and the significance of his craft as a master saddle maker. The film won first place in the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust Short Documentary Contest and debuted at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

View their video here.